Among Prague’s top spectator sports has to be Sparta Praha club – the Czech Rep’s best football team. This team plays in a stadium near Letná Park (www.sparta.cz) & the season is played from Sept-Apr. To get a genuinely local experience – particularly if you are a fan of football – it is worth attending a Czech Gambrinus Liga match. This league comprises sixteen clubs, and its season is played from Aug-May, with clubs playing thirty games each, normally played at weekends. Slavia Praha is another good team. Tickets for their games can cost from 100 CZK to 400 CZK (or more, if it is an important international game). The bigger games sell out fast, but you can purchase tickets on the day of the match for lots of less important games.
Ice hockey easily ranks as Prague’s most popular past-time (both watching it and playing it), and the primary venue is the O2 Arena stadium of HC Slavia. The 02 Extraliga, the Czech professional league, boasts a great reputation worldwide, and lots of its players progress on to play for NHL teams in Canada and the US. The season is played from mid-Sept to Apr, and the Tesla Arena is Prague’s largest ice hockey venue (www.hcsparta.cz). Buy tickets for upcoming matches on the web at www.ticketportal.cz , or via the box office at the arena. O2 Arena (www.hcslavia.cz) also stages important matches, along with rock concerts and additional large scale events.
Czech people are justifiably proud of the number of pro tennis players who have originated from their isles in recent years—the National Tennis Centre on the island at Štvanice, beneath Hlávkův Bridge, stage Grand Prix contests. You will discover a nice selection of courts and clubs dotted around. Among the best clubs is Český Lawn Tennis (www.cltk.cz, open from 7 am to 10 pm each day), which offers ten indoor and fourteen outdoor courts. These are available for the public to book all day during weekends and until 3 pm on a weekday. Otherwise, you could contact Rapid Praha (www.tenisrapid.cz) or Etennis (www.etennis.cz).
If you can handle some swimming, Prague has several swimming pools. The Plavecký stadion Podolí (Podolská Seventy-Four; www.pspodoli.cz) complex is the biggest swimming pool in Prague, with 1 inside pool, a couple of pools outdoors, a water-slide and diving boards. The Aquacentrum Letňany Lagoon (www.letnanylagoon.cz) provides a nice safe area for children.
Whilst countless nature reserves and parks are ready to explore in Prague, among the top choices is Divoká Šárka. This is a huge, broad expanse on the city’s limits where trails guide you past dramatic cliff-faces and across hilly forests. It is better to be prepared with a map to monitor the trails. During sunny weekends, Wild Šárka (which is the English translation of the name) turns into a bustling procession of families with strollers and dog walkers. Nonetheless, the park is still sufficiently large that you will experience a feeling of tranquillity. Also, Divoká Šárka has a stream fed swimming pool outdoors, built into the cliff-face.
Rent a Bike
Throughout the hotter months, rent a bike or sample a guided biking tour across Prague. Numerous businesses specialise in biking rentals and provide cycling city tours. One of these is City Bike Prague (two hour rental 300 CZK, all day rental 500 CZK; www.citybike-prague.com), which provides a selection of rentals and tours. Praha Bike is another possibility (www.prahabike.cz). As well as standard rentals (200 CZK for two hours; 590 CZK for 24 hours), Praha Bike offers organised tours into the surrounding rural areas as a day trip to Karlštejn Castle.
Hiring a pedalo, or rowing boat, on the River Vltava will offer you a unique view of the city. Over the summer, paddleboats offer some excellent family or romantic fun. Paddle-boats cost 150 CZK hourly, whilst illuminated boats throughout the evenings cost 200 CZK hourly. These boats are based in the New Town on Slovansky Island, just adjacent to the National Theatre. They will provide you with a good perspective on the Lesser Town and the Old Town. The swan-shaped paddle-boats are certain to delight the children. Address: Slovansky Island, New Town; Open each day April to October, 11:00 to 23:00.